In a rather shocking discovery, praying mantises have been found to attack and prey on birds!
A recent study published in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, has found that praying mantises not only feast on a few vertebrates like lizards and salamanders, but they also occasionally eat many different kinds of birds all across the globe!
The researchers studied over 140 different incidences of praying mantises feasting on birds.
They found out that this act of theirs is not only applicable to a few species in different places, but rather, these insects found all over the world are constantly preying on birds, for them to consume heartily.
Ever since there have been studies of the praying mantises targeting different animals such as frogs, mice, snakes, soft-shelled turtles, and even bats. But it is only until now that the researchers wished to know how frequently these insects preyed on birds.
After looking across different sources for references, such as books, social media posts, and newspapers, the researchers then found that 12 different species of praying mantises in 13 different countries had been eating birds.
According to Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel, “The fact that eating of birds is so widespread in praying mantises, both taxonomically as well as geographically speaking, is a spectacular discovery.”
It was also discovered that most of the birds consumed by the mantises were hummingbirds, with the ruby-throated hummingbird species being the most unfortunate. Their demise is said to be due to their sizes, with females of large mantises weighing more than that of the hummingbirds.